Thursday, July 20, 2006

Gotta Share This...

Zen Magic Theatre, Fort Mason Center, Bldg D, Marina at Laguna; 776-1747, Free. Previews Tues/18, 8pm. Opens July 19, 8pm. Runs July 20-22, 8pm; July 23, 2pm.

Boxcar Theater’s collaborative, playful portrait of the search for enlightenment in daily life opened Saturday on a sun-drenched beach caressing the shimmering Pacific. The beach was Baker, and the weekend so warm and bright its was filled with bodies a-baking, except for a modest Dali-esque section with incongruous objects (a grandfather clock, an upholstered chair, a telescope) pitched in the sand around a low barrier marking both stage and Zen garden, groomed into swirling patterns by a wooden rake. (Zen, with certain allowances for the new Feng Shui, completes its run indoors at the Magic.)

A man with a briefcase approaches from the background. “I have lived a life” he says, “and I know nothing.” So begins a series of loosely connected scenes—by a river bank, in a canoe, at a singles bar—acted by a sharp ensemble (Dana Lau, Sarah Mitchell, Lauren Pizzi, Ian Riley, Grove Wiley, and Jeremy Wurzbach) and touching ironically, mischievously on such themes as desire, transience, solitude, and wisdom, and ending (after about an hour) in an unexpected moment of awakening. As the young company’s second offering, artistic director Nick A. Olivero’s cheerful, clever production (presented gratis as part of Boxcar’s Free Theatre Initiative) spells good theatrical karma, boding even better things to come.

* * * * *

Last night's opening at the Magic went pretty well, *all things considered*. !!!

I am The Man With The Briefcase, btw.. who says, "I have lived a life, and I know nothing."

Also: y'all know by now that my stage/hippie name is Grove Wiley, right?? Albert's the birth name, the one that I wanted to create some distance from, starting three years ago. I still use it, just not as much. I suppose that Albert, even, aack, Albie, will always be out there somewhere searching for Artsy Fun with Madame Glinka and all my other aliases.

Several friends are coming to tonight's performance, and I'm super nervous about that!

I cannot believe that this project is four days from being over. What a JOURNEY...


Blogger Phinney said...

Grove! I've caught up, for some reason I've missed the past week. I am proud of you and wish I could see you perform. You are (as I said once before) BRAVE! Wearing yellow tonight in your honor. =) love ya, Phinney

glitter of the day: Yippee Yellow!!

6:04 PM  
Blogger Robbie said...

LOL! I was scratching my head thinking where's AL? But, Grove??? Never new and never would have figured. Yeah to what sounds like a great review!!!!!

7:26 PM  
Blogger star said...

congratulations "grove" hehe. had no idea that was you stage name. i LIKE it :)

you are soooooooo talented :)


8:49 PM  
Blogger sfmike said...

Dear Albglinka the Wiley: I saw the first act of your show this evening and rather loved it. I even took a few nice photos and will be writing about it on "Civic Center" tomorrow morning since your director announced he wanted more buns in those seats for your final three performances.

First off, the production looks great. The simple screens, sandbox, props, and lovely lighting are both soothing and constantly visually interesting. Ditto for the costumes. The acting was uniformly good, as was the diction.

Your part could have been played much gruffer and more patriarchal, but your tentativeness was actually rather moving and took it away from stereotype. I also quite liked the beautiful muscle dude who kept carrying people offstage out of the sandbox, and the Asian actress who was playing your daughter.

In fact, my favorite scene was probably the one with you and the daughter at the Indian restaurant with the rest of the cast as the Kama Sutra chorus.

Why did I leave after the first act? The same reason I left after the first act of "Saint Francois of Assisi" at the opera a few years ago, which is that I loved the first ninety minutes but knew the piece wasn't going towards any kind of resolution, and I'd had enough, and didn't want to leave irritated when something had gone on too long.

Congratulations on being part of a very interesting piece with a very interesting group. I saw a couple of times exactly how terrified you were up there on that stage, but don't worry about how you're doing because you're doing fine, and are interesting to watch, especially when briefcases don't open because of the sand.

10:49 PM  
Blogger sunflowerkat119 said...

What a nice review. Congratulations!

Wish I could see the performance.

10:52 AM  

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